Gov.: Trump responsible for division
Kasich comments on attempted mail bombings
COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. John Kasich says President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the divisions in the county, following reports of bombs being mailed to several Democratic and media figures.
Authorities said this week that packages containing explosives were addressed and mailed to former President Barack Obama, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former vice president Joe Biden, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Florida, left-leaning political donor George Soros and the headquarters of CNN.
On Thursday, it was reported that an additional package was addressed to a restaurant owned by actor Robert DeNiro, a prominent Trump critic.
Kasich, a Republican, was interviewed by Brian Williams on MSNBC on Wednesday night.
The host asked Kasich, who was defeated in the Republican primaries by Trump in 2016, if the president “(bore) some responsibility,” not for the mailings, but for the “tone that allowed it.”
“Sure, sure he does,” Kasich said. “It’s part of the reason I never endorsed him, I’ve never been personally critical of him, but yeah, he does bear responsibility for the divisions.”
Kasich offered criticism of Clinton and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for their tone as well, but, of Trump, he said, “He has the biggest megaphones.”
“Everybody needs to knock it off,” Kasich said. “But obviously the guy with the biggest megaphone is the one that really has to be careful.”
Kasich called for increased civility in politics.
“We’re not in a zero sum game where I win and you lose and I then have to devastate you because you’re my opponent or call you a bad person,” he said. “We can have a great lively political discussion, political debate, and we don’t have to separate and polarize in anger. It leads to crazy things.”
Kasich said he was “pleased” Trump had offered conciliatory words at a rally in Wisconsin Thursday night, but the governor went on to criticize the polarized political atmosphere and the effect he said it may have.
“I was talking to a couple of my friends – when you get this frenzy going in the country, you remember back when you were in high school, or when you were in college, and you go to those pep rallies,” Kasich said. “People get so revved up and so angry and, all of the sudden, one of the people that kind of, you know, lives on the edge, does something stupid.”
He said this was similar to today’s political situation.
“I think in an environment where you have all of this namecalling and everything is so critical and ‘this person’s bad’ and ‘this is horrible,” what happens is somebody who’s not very well balanced might do something crazy,” Kasich said. “And I think we saw some it in the last two days.”
Kasich, who is seen as a possible 2020 presidential contender, will leave the governor’s office due to term limits in January.
Democrat Richard Corday and Republican Mike DeWine are competing in the Nov. 6 general election to be his successor.